Last week, the Senate passed a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 (S. Con. Res. 8) by a 50-49 vote. Although the resolution is non-binding and likely to change in the upcoming weeks, the resolution amendments that the Senate passed could offer insights as to the full Senate’s stance on key energy issues. In a 62-37 vote, the Senate approved the establishment of a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth through the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, the Senate voted to increase funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by $50 million over 10 years.
Around the same time, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) committed to work with federal agencies to support the build-out of a smart grid system. For more on the latest energy and clean technology regulatory and legislative developments, including news on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominees, please see ML Strategies’ most recent Energy and Environmental Update.